If you ask any chef working in an American kitchen today, you'll probably hear that the industry is male-dominated. Though there are a fair share of women behind the burners, the kitchen is physically demanding, sometimes dangerous, and usually off-color. There's no time for crying, feelings, or even a break.
Last year, Clean Plate Charlie interviewed chef Michelle Bernstein who confirmed that the majority of kitchen workers are men, possibly because of the conditions, "No one in school or on cooking shows tells you how labor-intensive it is. It's backbreaking work. You look like shit. You can't wear anything attractive. This is not appealing to most women."
But don't tell that to Hasbro, the creators of the Easy-Bake Oven, the girliest toy on the planet. A Google search for the toy yields this:
No ambiguity as to the target market. From the pink oven to the pink frosted delights you can make with the toy -- it's all pink and meant for girls. The website features a girl in a pink fantasy kitchen, making pink fantasy cakes. No boys allowed here!
But what about those boys who want to be chefs? Shouldn't we encourage them to bake and cook? After all, isn't the Easy Bake Oven a man's domain?
After hearing about her brother's Christmas gift list (a dinosaur and an Easy-Bake Oven), one teen is out to petition Hasbro to market the toy to boys as well as girls.
McKenna Pope of Garfield, New Jersey has started a petition on Change.org, asking Hasbro to feature boys in their marketing efforts. On the website, the teen states:
"My little brother has always loved cooking. Being in the kitchen is his favorite out of school activity, and he yearns to have the opportunity to cook on his own, or at least with limited help.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into his room to find him "cooking" tortillas by placing them on top of his lamp's light bulb! Obviously, this is not a very safe way for him to be a chef, so when he asked Santa for his very own Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, produced by the Hasbro company, for me to help him be the cook he's always wanted to be, my parents and I were immediately convinced it was the truly perfect present.
However, we soon found it quite appalling that boys are not featured in packaging or promotional materials for Easy Bake Ovens -- this toy my brother's always dreamed about. And the oven comes in gender-specific hues: purple and pink.
I feel that this sends a clear message: women cook, men work."
The petition has over 24,000 signatures, with supporters stating "baking is for everyone", and "male chefs exist too, ya know!". Pope has also added an adorable video showing her brother asking for the toy, but knowing that it's for "girls only" Awww...
Click here to sign the petition, and let Hasbro know that boys like to bake, too.
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